Nursing Bags

old nursing bagSince nurses love their bags, and we love nurses, we wanted to have one page that contains as much information on nursing bags as possible. We also wanted a single page on Hug Your Nurse that links to all of our articles that deals with bags, so that you have an easy way to find something that interests you. We will cover the history of nursing bags and the bag technique, supplies that are often packed, the manufacturers, the average costs, and of course some links to more information.


More Bag Information and Reviews

We have a lot of articles on Hug Your Nurse about nurse bags (don’t forget to register for a FREE BAG), and we will continue to add to the list. Please follow these links for details that you can find on this site:


History & The Bag Technique

It’s very likely that some of the earliest nurses used nurse’s bags. Even Florence Nightingale tended wounded soldiers with a black bag in her hand. The medical bag was a convenient way for the nurse to carry all of her supplies and equipment to her patients. Unfortunately, it was also a mechanism to spread microorganisms from patient to patient. Traditionally, it was a large black leather bag.

The “bag technique” was created to reduce the likelihood of transferring infectious diseases that are spread through contaminated healthcare bags. This is particularly important for home health and hospice nurses that travel to and from patients’ homes. The bag technique is based on the CDC’s 2007 Guideline for Isolation Precautions: Preventing Transmission of Infectious Agents in Healthcare Settings. The principle of the technique is to simply lower the likelihood of transferring infections though contaminated bags and equipment.

Using the bag technique, it is recommended to clean your bag and the supplies inside of it on a regular basis. The steps for cleaning your medical bag are:

  • If you use a rolling bag, keep it on the floor. If you have a hand carried bag, place it on a clean and dry surface.
  • Thoroughly wash your hands.
  • Remove your supplies and place them on a barrier or clean and dry surface.
  • Do not reenter the bag with gloves on.
  • Clean the supplies and equipment that had contact with the patient.
  • If you wore personal protective equipment, remove it and wash your hands.

If you take your bag to a patient’s home or room, there is some controversy over whether you should place it on a protective barrier or not. If you have a rolling bag, you should always use a protective barrier. A barrier is used so that your bag does not have direct contact with the potentially contaminated environment. If you remove items from your bag at the patient’s home, it’s advised to place them on a protective barrier to avoid contamination. Avoid using materials such as paper towels or newspapers as a protective barrier. You should use water resistant materials on a one time basis such as trash bags, wax paper, chux, plastic paper, etc.

You should never bring your bag in the patient’s home when:

  • They are diagnosed with having MDRO such as MRSA.
  • They are on contact precautions.
  • There are bed bugs or other pest infestations.
  • There is a major contamination in the home of feces or excessive soil.

The best way to avoid contaminating your bag is to wash your hands thoroughly before entering the bag, and then again when placing items back into the bag. Placing contaminated items in a plastic bag before replacing them is also helpful.


Bag Supplies

What’s in your nursing bag will vary depending upon the type of work that you do. If you are a hospice or home health nurse, your bag will be full of supplies and equipment that you will need to treat patients in their homes. If you are any other type of nurse, your bag may have a few tools of your trade, but will also serve as a convenient way of carrying many nonessential items for personal use.

For hospice workers that travel to their patients, and home healthcare nurses, you will literally pack all of the supplies that your patients need. You will have many single use items, along with a few reusable items. The supplies in your nurse bag may include: scissors, stethoscope, gauze, bandages, disinfectant wipes, alcohol pads, wound care dressings, personal protective equipment, pens, paper, bp cuff, equipment to draw blood, masks, foley, and much more.

For other nurses that don’t travel to their patients, the bag is primarily used to carry personal items such as snacks, magazines to read, a personal fan, a lite jacket, etc. Additionally, most nurses pack some needed supplies such as a stethoscope, scissors, pens, paper and more.


Bag Manufacturers & Brands

There are many companies that specialize in making bags for nurses. Some of the most common and popular ones are:

  • Nurse Mates
  • Prestige Medical
  • American Diagnostic
  • Soft Shoe Company
  • Olympia
  • Hopkins Medical Products


How Much Do Nursing Bags Cost?

This is a broad question that can be answered in many ways. One of the most important factors in figuring out the average price of a nurse’s bag is where you buy it from. In general, you will pay a lot more for a bag if you buy it at a medical supply or uniform store. If you buy it online from sites such as Amazon, you could save 50% or more!

Another factor is just what kind of bag you are buying. There are simple little tote bags (great for a gift for nurses) that can be bough for under $10. There are also amazing bags that are large, have many compartments, and are made to last forever. These bags tend to sale for anywhere from $40 to $70 online, or around $100 at traditional stores.


If you haven’t found what you are looking for in this page, feel free to leave a comment below to request more information. We will continue to add to this list when we give new reviews, and we hope that this page will eventually contain everything you ever wanted to know about nursing bags.



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George Tall

Author at Hug Your Nurse
George Tall works in the legal field, is a father of three, and a husband of a RN for 25 years. He enjoys writing about everything, especially nursing! He has been writing for a living, at least partially, since around 2000. As an author on dozens of websites, he enjoys being factual, while spinning a bit of humor where possible.
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